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Paring Knife Gets Student Expelled

February 7, 1998 GMT

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) _ A fifth-grade honor roll student was expelled after she picked up her mother’s lunch box by mistake and brought a paring knife to school.

When 10-year-old Shanon Borchardt Coslett found the knife Thursday, she immediately reported it to a teacher at Twin Peaks Charter Academy.

``I saw this thing sticking out ... and I gave it to my teacher. She said it was very serious,″ said Shannon, sobbing.

Her mother keeps the knife in her lunch box to slice apples. Administrators said the law required them to expel the girl.

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``If I had a choice I never would have expelled her,″ Administrator Dorothy B. Marlatt said. ``I hurt for the girl and I hurt for the family.″

School board member David Leeds said he hopes the board will allow Shanon to return to class on Monday.

``She’s very upset. She just loves school,″ said Brian Durnwirth, Shannon’s stepfather. ``She just got on the honor roll last week and they just recognized her for that.″